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Robert Durst sentenced to life in prison for murder of friend

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Robert Durst was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole at his sentencing hearing Thursday.

A jury found the 78-year-old heir to a New York commercial real estate empire guilty of murder in the first degree in September for the execution-style killing of his friend Susan Berman in 2000.

Berman's family was at the hearing, where Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham dealt the sentence. Durst did not speak.

Four victim statements were given, two from Berman's cousins.

One cousin, Deni Marcus, said, "I was robbed, and my beautiful son was robbed, of an absolutely extraordinary, brilliant person whose life was savagely taken."

Dave Berman, Susan's other cousin, told her justice had been done and that she could rest in peace, according to The New York Times.

ROBERT DURST FOUND GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER

Durst, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of killing 55-year-old Berman on Dec. 23, 2000. The jury in Los Angeles found the prosecution proved special circumstances that he had acted with the belief that Berman, who was a journalist acting as his media liaison, had discovered information connecting him to his wife's disappearance and was willing to reveal it.

Authorities found Berman shot in the back of the head in her home on the outskirts of Beverly Hills on Christmas Eve.

Durst repeatedly denied the claims against him. On Sept. 1, Durst said he did not know who killed Berman.

But in a 2015 HBO documentary series, The Jinx, he appeared at one point to admit to several murders. During the program's production, Durst was caught on film saying, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

One day before the show's final episode, Durst was arrested in Louisiana, where authorities found him with a map of Cuba, money, and a gun. After a 14-month recess due to the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors reconvened this month to show the jury a latex mask that authorities found when they arrested the real estate heir in New Orleans. Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian said Durst wore the mask as a disguise to evade capture from authorities in 2015.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

"At trial, prosecutors said the defendant murdered his friend because she knew details about what happened to Durst’s wife, Kathie, who disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982, while the couple lived in New York. She has never been found," according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon's office.

Durst has never been charged in connection with his wife's disappearance and has denied killing her. He admitted to killing and dismembering his Texas neighbor Morris Black in 2001 but was acquitted of murder after making a self-defense argument.

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Tags: News, Real Estate, California, Crime, New York

Original Author: Misty Severi

Original Location: Robert Durst sentenced to life in prison for murder of friend

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